By Mike Leone
Hartford, OH September 2, 2020- After two months off due to COVID-19 mandates, Sharon Speedway will return to racing on Friday and Saturday, September 11-12 with the running of the annual “Apple Festival Nationals”. Seven different divisions will compete at some point during the weekend. The RUSH Late Models, RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, RUSH Sprint Cars, and Sportsman Dwarf Cars will each run a complete show on Friday night, while the “410” Sprint Cars and RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will run complete shows on Saturday night. The Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series and Elite Econo Mod Series in the “Kyle Miller Memorial” will have their shows split over the two nights with their features on Saturday night. Race time is 7 p.m. both nights.
All general admission grandstand areas will be open including the front and backstretch grandstands as well as the new infield fan zone that debuted on June 27. For no additional cost, fans have the opportunity to witness racing from the infield; concessions and restrooms are available. There will be times throughout the night when fans can cross back and forth. Anyone that is sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms must stay home. All CDC guidelines will be in effect.
For the fourth straight year, the “410” Sprint Cars will be part of the “Apple Festival Nationals” racing for $3,000 to-win, $250 to-start. The hot lap/group qualifying format will be utilized. Mufflers are not required and there’s no registration or entry fees. The Sprint Cars have competed all three nights thus far during the COVID-shortened 91st anniversary season. Dave Blaney won the season opener on June 27 for his 35th career victory at the track he co-owns. Dave’s son-in-law, Cale Conley, became the 11th different winner in 12 “Lou Blaney Memorials” taking night one of the All Star Circuit of Champions on July 11, while Kyle Larson captured night two in Justin Snyder’s “Salute to the Troops”.
After a four-year absence, the RUSH Late Models will return to Sharon racing for $800 to-win, $125 to-start. RUSH member drivers will be able to accumulate Pace Performance Weekly Series points. The last time the RUSH Late Models competed at Sharon was the 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals” when Will Thomas III was victorious. Thomas is the division’s all-time winner at Sharon with 15 triumphs. Twenty-three different drivers have been victorious in the 83 races run all-time for the division. A good field is expected with no other area tracks running the class on this night, and this will be their first race on the new red clay surface.
The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will have their biggest weekend ever at Sharon with two complete shows! The RUSH Mods will race for $600 to-win, $75 to-start on Friday night and $800 to-win, $125 to-start on Saturday night thanks to several sponsors that will be released soon! RUSH Member drivers will not only be competing for Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Weekly Series points but also the “Route 7 Rumble” Series points presented by Wedge Motorsports each night. The RUSH Mods have only raced in one event this year at Sharon, which saw Chas Wolbert defeat a 25-car field on June 27. Wolbert leads the Weekly Series standings, while Rob Kristyak sits atop the “Route 7 Rumble” points.
The non-wing RUSH Sprint Cars were scheduled to compete a dozen times during the 2020 season before COVID-19 severely cut the season short. In their only completed appearance back on June 27, Jeremy Weaver, a former RUSH Sportsman Modified winner at Sharon, was victorious. Weaver has five victories overall on the circuit thus far this season as he leads RUSH’s Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series points. The RUSH Sprints will race for $500 to-win, $125 to-start.
The Sportsman Dwarf Cars have become an annual fixture on the Friday night “Apple Festival Nationals” program for their only appearance of the season bringing in a full field of cars. They will again race for $500 to-win presented by Joe’s Radiator. The Dwarfs have competed 21 times over the years at Sharon with 11 different winners as Josh Walker is the all-time winner with seven.
The Homak Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series leads the way of the three divisions seeing their programs split over the two nights with heats on Friday night and the balance of their show on Saturday night. Saturday’s Stock main will pay $2,000 to-win, $150 to-start. Jackson Humanic is the Series’ point leader over 2018 Sharon track champion, Chris McGuire. The Stocks have yet to race at Sharon this year.
The Econo Mods will run in an Elite Series event as part of the inaugural “Kyle Miller Memorial”, which will pay $1,115 to-win with a lot of additional bonuses and lap money on the line thanks to a lot of sponsors. Miller was a standout Econo Mod racer in the region and former winner of the Western PA Rookie-of-the-Year award. Miller passed away in April after a long battle with cancer. Dustin DeMattia, the 2019 track champion, won the only Econo Mod race contested this year back on June 27.
One-way driver radios are mandatory for all divisions; channel 454.000. AMB/MyLaps transponders are required for all divisions except the Dwarf Cars. Rentals are available for $25 for the weekend. If you’ve yet to compete or register at Sharon this year, please complete the registration form ahead of time and bring it with you completed; there’s no fee for the Sharon registration. http://www.sharonspeedway.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/RegistrationFormSharon2020.pdf The complete payoffs for each division is available at the following link or by clicking on Purses under the Drivers tab on the website http://www.sharonspeedway.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Apple-Festival-Purses-2020.pdf
Race teams will be directed where to park when they arrive. Pit pass sales will begin at 3 p.m. with grandstands at 5 both days. A drivers meeting will be held before cars hit the speedway at approximately 6 p.m. each night. The RUSH Late Models will receive warm-ups on Friday night, while the Sprint Cars will warm-up/qualify at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night.
Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $15 each day. Patio seating upgrades are just $5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $20 over the cost of general admission. These can be reserved on race night in the track office. As always, children under 14 and parking are always FREE! Pit passes are $35 each day. Camping is free of charge and opens Wednesday at 5 p.m. As a reminder, coolers nor outside food or beverages are not permitted.
Lunch will be served from 12-2 p.m. in the pit concession on Saturday.
Sharon Speedway is owned by the Blaney, Weller, and Kirila Families and is a 3/8-mile dirt track located on Custer-Orangeville Road in Hartford, Ohio near the intersection of Routes 7 & 305. For more information, check out the website at www.sharonspeedway.com or call 330-772-5481. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sharonspeedway and follow us on Twitter @sharonspdwy.